Monday, December 14, 2009

"This is a sacred place."

So said Dave Douglas, in the middle of his in-between-song banter last night.

It was the first time I had heard any such statement made about a music venue. Normally, it would seem like a ridiculous and perhaps sacrilegious thing to say. But I doubt anyone in the audience was surprised to hear this asserted about the Village Vanguard.

You can hear a complete concert -- the same group and venue, from earlier last week -- by clicking that link and then clicking the link near the top of the page that says, "Listen Now: The Dave Douglas Quintet In Concert." That will open a pop-up player -- or, if you'd rather have it in mp3 form, use the link right underneath. It's over an hour of music. (Isn't the internet great?)

Douglas described two of his songs as being about "November 2008 and the wonderful change that occurred in this country." Both of those songs -- "The Presidents" and "Campaign Trail" -- are on his latest album, A Single Sky. (The music on that album isn't actually representative of last night's show since it's performed by a big band. The quintet's set lists for the past week largely consisted of those same big-band pieces arranged for the smaller group.)

It was a great show, and the pianist, Uri Caine, was particularly magnificent. His solos were so adventurous they were practically little songs unto themselves. You wouldn't have guessed that his piano-playing was a major departure from the group's past: he played only keyboard (Fender Rhodes) in the group for almost 10 years and just recently switched to piano.

Incidentally, Uri Caine's albums based on Beethoven and Mozart would make great Christmas presents for anyone who likes classical and/or jazz music (not for me -- I already have them). They are much, much better than I would have expected a jazzified version of Beethoven or Mozart to be.

2 comments:

Turtle Noneck said...

He never said anything like that back in his Knitting Factory period.

Crimso said...

"It was the first time I had heard any such statement made about a music venue. Normally, it would seem like a ridiculous and perhaps sacrilegious thing to say."

I was one of those over at Althouse's who suspected the Ryman. The Ryman actually was once a church, though, and the seating is still pews. Though I've lived in or near Nashville for 15 yrs, I've only seen one show there, and that was Nancy Griffith (very good, and I'm not even a fan). If you ever get the chance to see someone there, definitely do so.